Alexander Scrimgeour

  • Rosa Menkman, Whiteout, 2020, video, color, sound, 15 minutes. From “im/possible images.”

    “im/possible images”

    In 2015, following the investigations into digital faults and breaks that had culminated her 2010 Glitch Studies Manifesto, artist Rosa Menkman embarked on a concentrated period of research into “how resolutions inform both machine vision and human perception.” These eventuated in the 2020 book Beyond Resolution, its epigraph “Refuse to let the syntaxes of (a) history direct our futures.” Menkman’s practice may have its roots in the post-internet art scene of the early 2000s, but it has always been guided by a para-academic enthusiasm for artistic inquiry into the technical limitations of the

  • Klára Hosnedlová, Untitled (from the series Nest), 2020, cotton thread, stainless steel, 21 1/4 × 16 7/8".

    Klára Hosnedlová

    Various frames of reference, from art history to fashion, theater to architecture, feminism to science fiction, structured Klára Hosnedlová’s refreshing exhibition “Nest,” all contributing to an overall sense of the gallery’s transformation into a retro-futuristic, period-drama, high-fashion stage set. One way to think through the composition of the show was to take a hint from Hosnedlová’s embroidered “paintings” (all works Untitled, from the series Nest, 2020). Several depicted people using a magnifying glass to enlarge details—a fingernail being cleaned with a sharp metal implement, say, or

  • Julian Eicke and Thomas Bo Nilsson, Betreutes Leben Ezzelino Live Cams (Assisted Living Ezzelino Live Cams), 2018. Performance view. Carlotta Monty Meyer. From the Wiesbaden Biennale. Photo: Jeva Griskjane.

    Wiesbaden Biennale

    New York has drugstores in old movie palaces, Detroit has its grand parking lots. For the duration of this exhibition, the provincial German city of Wiesbaden had a drive-in theater in its principal theater, as well as a fully functioning supermarket in the building’s neo-Baroque foyer. Deli refrigerator units, fair-trade coffee, fruits, vegetables, and in-store advertising partially obscured the grand room’s oil paintings, stucco, and ornate mirrors. This installation wasn’t credited to an artist but was commissioned from the supermarket chain REWE by Maria Magdalena Ludewig and Martin Hammer,

  • “Neïl Beloufa: The enemy of my enemy”

    In his videos embedded in sculptural environments, as well as in his first feature film, Occidental (2017), Neïl Beloufa has made a strategy of sidestepping expectations to redirect attention to structural questions of politics and power. Here, Beloufa ups the ante of his culture jamming to expose the discourses and strategies of modern propaganda across the board, from Far Left to Far Right. The clincher is that the exhibits—including artifacts such as a baseball signed by Tony Blair, loans from museums of military history, and artworks by the likes of Gustave

  • Willem de Rooij

    A kind of grand finale to a trio of recent solo shows held over the past few years, this exhibition brings together floral bouquets, handwoven tapestries, a sportswear line by Dutch fashion designer Fong Leng, and an installation of decontextualized press photographs depicting “riots, protest, mourning, and commemoration.” The variety of Willem de Rooij’s recent output will thus be on full view—as will older works made with his longtime collaborator, Jeroen de Rijke, who died in 2006. In all these works, a seductive visual clarity is polemically entangled in questions

  • Tobias Kaspar, Untitled, 2016, laser-engraved reflective fabric, 5' 9” × 14' 3 1/4".

    Tobias Kaspar

    Tobias Kaspar’s recent show brought back memories of my puzzlement, years ago, over a pink canvas by Willem de Rooij that appeared to change color depending on where you were standing. In some respects, Kaspar one-upped him with the three pieces on view here, all Untitled, 2016. Their hi-tech, silvery, iridescent fabric contains particles of glass that appear to reflect light differently depending on one’s viewing position. In the triptych in the gallery’s first room, for example, a shifting surface of shiny silver rectangles emerged from the uniform gray you saw as you entered from the street.

  • David Raymond Conroy, Broadway Flat (The Good Man), 2015, wood, privacy film, magnets, sandbags, wide-format print, plotter print, dehydrated Big Mac, dehydrated Quarter Pounder, lighters, Trappistes Rochefort bottle, 94 1/2 × 35 3/8 × 29 1/2".


    A DEEP EXISTENTIAL APORIA seemed to have settled over David Raymond Conroy’s show at Seventeen gallery in London last year. Cheap, jerry-rigged wooden frames became miniature stage sets, offering an ambivalently melodramatic presentation of the kind of mundane consumer objects that are so much a part of contemporary daily life: sneakers, Beck’s Blue beer bottles, a Big Mac. The mise-en-scène was literally scripted by texts mounted directly onto these structures, each offering a different glimpse into the life of the same character, an apparently middle-aged, middle-class male, who seems to live

  • Sofia Hultén, This, That, Other, 2015, bicycle frames, metal barriers, dimensions variable.

    Sofia Hultén

    “A politics to come,” Giorgio Agamben recently asserted, demands a conception of “a way of life that is not based on deeds or on property, but on use.” I read his interview with Die Zeit the same week I saw Sofia Hultén’s recent exhibition “Truckin’.” Its titular video (all works cited, 2015) shows the artist walking through Berlin, swapping her sneakers for others she finds on the street. There are surprisingly many of these lying around, and she carefully places each discarded pair in the same position as the new pair—one of which is caught in a bush next to a brick wall. The shoes all

  • View of “Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen,” 2015. From left: Sensei Ichi-gō, 2014; Sterile, 2014.

    Revital Cohen & Tuur van Balen

    A few months before I left New York, someone gave me a goldfish he had won at a funfair, thinking that having a pet would help me feel more rooted in the Big Apple. I left my tiny Brooklyn apartment shortly after, but not without learning that goldfish, too, can suffer from loneliness and stress and are ill-suited to living in small bowls. I was reminded of this episode at the opening of “assemble | standard | minimal” by London-based duo Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen, where the first thing viewers encountered were three solitary goldfish in small, barren aquariums in a work titled Sterile,

  • Jan Peter Hammer, Tilikum, 2013–15, HD video, color, sound, 45 minutes.

    Jan Peter Hammer

    Taking us from the Skinner box to the present-day tourist attraction SeaWorld Orlando, Jan Peter Hammer’s film Tilikum, 2013–15, shot on HD video, was the ambitious centerpiece of this exhibition. It tells the story of the past century through the lens of the ethical complexities of human–animal relations, but it begins in the recent past, with a black screen and the recording of a 911 call made when the orca (or, less scientifically, “killer whale”) after which the piece is named drowned his trainer in full view of spectators in Orlando in 2010. She was Tilikum’s third victim.

    The arc from the

  • Nikita Kadan, Limits of Responsibility (detail), 2014, metal, painted wood, soil, vegetables, thirty-six color slides, three book facsimiles, dimensions variable.

    Nikita Kadan

    In recent years, sites of protest—Tahrir Square, Zuccotti Park, Taksim Square—have functioned in large part as visual interventions in the fabric of the city. As such, they’ve made claims on attention, time, and space on behalf of those excluded from the normal running of things. These provisional encampments took something from several disparate spheres—political demonstrations, the squatters’ movement, refugee and homeless camps, even music festivals—and fashioned them into something new: One might almost say a genre where politics and the image met on updated terms.


  • Jay Chung and Q Takeki Maeda, untitled (detail), 2014, paper, 8 1/4 × 11 3/4".

    Jay Chung and Q Takeki Maeda

    There wasn’t much to see in this exhibition: just four works spread throughout the gallery’s three rooms. The first was Monika (all works 2014), a large, rough-hewn stone, set on a mantelpiece; the second, Ulrike, the silhouette of the interior space of an arch, cut from a sheet of rubber; and the third, down the corridor past the offices, a color woodblock print with pastel-colored wood grain, titled Lena. The names represent three generations of women: Monika, the wife of the legendary Düsseldorf gallerist Alfred Schmela; the couple’s daughter Ulrike; and their granddaughter Lena Brüning (who